Israel demolished 54 structures, displacing 66 people, and killed 10 Palestinians in July– UN report

In July, the Israeli occupation authorities and forces demolished, confiscated, or forced people to demolish 54 structures in East Jerusalem and Area C of the West Bank, including 20 homes, citing the lack of Israeli-issued building permits, which are almost impossible to obtain, and killed 10 Palestinians, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in the occupied Palestinian territory.

As a result of the demolitions, 66 Palestinians, including 34 children, were displaced, and the livelihoods of more than 795 others were affected, it said in its Protection of Civilians report covering the period between 5 and 24 July.

Sixteen of the affected structures were provided by donors in response to previous demolitions. Fifteen out of those 16 structures were demolished in a single incident in al Muntar, in the Jerusalem governorate, and another structure was demolished in Beit Jala, near Bethlehem.

According to the report, 80 percent of the affected structures (43) were in Area C. The remaining 11 structures were demolished in East Jerusalem, including nine residential structures, resulting in the displacement of five households, comprising 24 people, including 12 children. Eight out of the 11 structures demolished in East Jerusalem were destroyed by their owners to avoid the payment of fines to the Israeli authorities.

Additionally, Israeli authorities demolished two agricultural-related structures in area C of Birin near Bani Na’im in the Hebron governorate allegedly for “Trespassing a state land”.

On 11 July, the Israeli forces forcibly evicted the elderly Ghaith-Sub Laban Palestinian couple from their home in the Old City of Jerusalem after their protected tenancy was terminated by Israeli courts. Following their eviction, their home was immediately handed over to Israeli settlers. The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in the occupied Palestinian territories stated that the Israeli laws used to evict the family are inherently discriminatory and in violation of Israel’s human rights obligations. According to OCHA assessments, approximately 1,000 Palestinians are at risk of forced eviction in East Jerusalem, mainly due to court cases initiated by settler groups.

In addition, eight households were displaced from Jerusalem governorate and the South Hebron hills, citing settler violence and loss of access to grazing land, said the OCHA report.

On 10 and 19 July 2023, seven households comprising 36 people, including 20 children and eight women (all registered refugees) of al-Baqa’a Bedouin community in the Jerusalem Governorate, and one Palestinian household comprising 13 people, including nine children of the Wedadie Herding community in the South Hebron Hills (South of al-Samu’a village), dismantled their residential and livelihood structures and left their communities and relocated to safer places. According to the families, they left after increased settlement activities following the establishment of new shepherding and farming settlement outposts. About 300 people were displaced from Ras al Tin, Wadi as Seeq, Ein Samiya, Lifjim and al-Baqa’a between 2022 and 2023, citing settler violence and loss of access to grazing land as the primary reasons.

In addition to the demolitions, evictions and forcible displacement, OCHA said that the Israeli occupation forces shot and killed 10 Palestinians, including children, between the period of July 4 and 27 in separate incidents in Nablus, Qalqilya, and Ramallah areas.

Also during the reporting period, 352 Palestinians, including at least 56 children, were injured by Israeli occupation forces across the West Bank, including 26 people by live ammunition.

Sixteen Palestinians, including two children, were injured by Israeli settlers, who also damaged Palestinian property in another 44 instances across the West Bank.

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